Are You Selling Products or Solving Problems?

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Here are a couple questions to ask every CEO. When is the last time you read a product page on your website? Or randomly asked a sales rep to give you a product presentation? Chances are you don’t remember. And for good reason. You’ve been mired in board meetings and investor calls.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that the competitive market is a ground war. Your marketers and sales reps ultimately determine your successful outcome. So when you get a chance to see their work, ask them this question. “Are you selling products or solving problems?”

Their answer plays a key role in the outcome of your sales strategy. To help develop an effective sales strategy, download SBI’s detailed 2014 Research Report. Not only do you need the right product, you need the right message. The 2014 Research Report will point you toward developing the right message.

The “product pitch” does not work. If you lead by talking about yourself, people won’t want to buy from you. With that in mind, you must put your buyer first. Focus on their needs every step of the way.

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Understand the Market Problems. Knowing these provides the foundation to your product management strategy. It provides the direction to features and messaging alike. Your leadership team must discover and validate the problems that exist with the buyers. Then determine your unique abilities to deliver value to each of your target markets.

Develop a Product Strategy. For each market, define the attractive segments that have common problems and characteristics. Develop a vision for your product portfolio. Your product leadership team should develop the roadmap and plan to bring your products to market.

Outline the Product Business Plans. Determine the market opportunity, basis for investment, and assessment of risk for each solution. Determine pricing strategy, model and guidelines by product. Monitor key performance indicators to determine how each product performs in the market.

Create Compelling Messaging. After your team accomplishes the above, communicate why someone would buy your product. Communicate how your buyers would use your product to solve their market problems. Then after all this, your marketing and sales will have the right message. You will no longer sell products…you will provide solutions.

Next time you are surfing your website, what is the message you see? When you listen to a sales rep, what do you hear? If product information is all you hear, then you need to change quickly. To get started, download our 2014 Research Report. The success of your next board meeting depends on it.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dan Bernoske
Dan Bernoske serves as a Senior Consultant at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), a sales and marketing consultancy focused exclusively on helping B2B companies exceed their revenue targets. With 13 years of experience, Dan has delivered results in business development, corporate strategy, product management, marketing, and process improvement.

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